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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Sesame-Soy Cabbage Stir Fry


¼ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
¼ tsp crushed red chili flakes
½ cup red onion, peeled and julienne
¾ cup carrot, julienne
¾ cup red bell pepper julienne
1 head bok choy cut leaves crosswise into 1/2” thick slices (approx. 5-6 cups cut)
6 green onions, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ cups fresh snow peas
½ head Napa cabbage, leaves cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips (about 3-4 cups cut)
⅔ cup good-quality chicken stock or broth or vegetable broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp  cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds


Heat a large wok over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, and chili flakes and stir-fry just until they are aromatic, about 30 seconds. Scoop out the aromatics and set them aside.

Add the remaining oil to the wok. Turn the heat up to high. When the oil is hot, add the julienne carrots, red peppers and red onion pieces and stir-fry until they turn glossy and bright, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the bok choy. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes more.

Add the scallion pieces and snow peas. Continue stir-frying until they are bright green and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Add the Napa cabbage along with about 1/3 cup of the hot stock and the reserved aromatics. Continue stir-frying until the vegetables are all tender-crisp, about 2 minutes more. Add the remaining stock, soy sauce, and cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until the vegetables all look lightly glazed with sauce, about 1 minute more.

Transfer the stir-fried vegetables to a heated serving dish. Garnish toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Yield: 8-10 servings


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